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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE CITY OF ALABASTER

ALABASTER CONNECTION MAY 2013

H S JO R

E N R U T NES I L D A E H

T S E F Y CIT

and FORMER

LIVE ED K

FRONTMAN

INSIDE THIS ISSUE... Community Garden in Alabaster Alabaster CLEANS UP Home Stage Glory

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We could not be happ ier with Noah's Park. We star ted there Jan 02 and it was th e best move for our daughter. Ev erything runs so smoothly an d the education level is fa ntastic. I really want to take a moment to praise the amazin g Ms. Dana (3C). She has made such a positive impact on ou r daughter. Ms. Dana has genui nely loved her from the start an d she comes home everyday a ve ry happy girl. It is very obviou s she gives each child the indivi dual attention they need and she really caters to their individual personalities. She is fun, bright and chipper every ti me I see her and is one of those pe ople who sends you away wit h a smile. She takes every oppo rtunity to speak with me abou t my child at length and really sp eaks to me like we are friends an d partners in this together. I am so at peace knowing that when I leave she is with Ms. Dana, lear ning and having a blast doin g it! Highly recommended! --Mandy Piper, On

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From the Mayor’s Desk... It’s hard to believe four months of 2013 are already behind us. In my first six months in office, an emphasis has been on building relationships and organizational change/improvements. I want to thank the many dedicated professional members of the Alabaster city work force who have spent time with me, allowing me to learn how they do their jobs and provide feedback with a fresh perspective, and all who continue to make incremental improvements. Due to human nature, receiving unsolicited input can sometimes feel as criticism, especially when offered up by someone not knowing the intricacies of a particular job. However, in this case, I commend those within our organization for embracing change, and working for and with the citizens and stakeholders of this great Marty Handlon community with even more professionalism and dedication. As I Mayor, City of Alabaster have said many times in the past few months, I am part of a great team and enjoy working with them. As many of you know, I promised to have an open door policy with employees, citizens, businesses or other stakeholders. The purpose and intent is to listen, analyze, and create a plan of action moving forward, to mitigate possible issues which can slowly develop within a large, dynamic organization like this one. We want to be a place wherein responsible developers, new businesses, and “do-it-yourself-ers” can feel confident they will be treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy by all levels. On that note, I have seen evidence of how quickly and willingly city personnel have embraced this customer-centric approach to governance. Please remember, using the online reporting tool, as well as receiving phone calls, helps us meet or exceed your service and response expectations. We have all been uplifted by your compliments and thanks via the online reporting. Thank you to all who have taken the time to pass on positives! The City is taking steps in the right direction. Recently we completed a refunding of sewer debt, resulting in net savings of approximately $3.5 million, with no extension of term. (One positive during this economy.) I am grateful for professionals working within our sewer department for doing so much with limited resources over the years; and, for their dedication to customer service, no matter the hour of the day/night. The Council and I are currently reviewing plans as to how this savings can best benefit the sewer system within the City of Alabaster. Additionally, there are economic developments right around the corner benefiting to all who shop, work, play, or live in our City. The month of May also marks the end of another school year. And, this one is especially emotional for me--I have to give a special “shout out” to the THS Class of 2013! I know so many of you and have watched you grow into fine young men and women. I am proud of you and your accomplishments! The graduating classes of Thompson, Kingwood, and Evangel Classical Christian and Homeschool totals approximately 556, and includes 31 Salutatorians and 41 Valedictorians! As you embark on the next phase of your life, you are challenged to not rest on any of your past accomplishments, but to keep reaching for the stars and desire to make a positive difference in this world. We all look forward to hearing about your future successes, and boasting you are from the city of Alabaster! I will end on big “THANK YOU” to all those who participated in the April Alabaster Clean Sweep campaign and taking pride in your community and neighborhoods. Happy Mother’s Day to all who have experienced this blessed gift and title!

Official Publication of the City of Alabaster Alabaster Connection is published monthly and it is delivered to citizens of the City of Alabaster Editorial Board The Public Relations Committee of the Alabaster City Council Committee Chair Councilwoman Sophie Martin Councilman Rick Walters Councilman Bob Hicks Editor Luke Camara, me2graphics, LLC Contributors Shana Camara Becky Beall Anderson Underwood We welcome your comments and suggestions. Call 447-2214 or e-mail luke@me2graphics.com

To advertise call 447-2214

201 First Street N. Alabaster, AL 35007 ©2013 City of Alabaster

Scott Brakefield, Ward 6 City Council President

It’s good to be able to write comments again for the official City Newsletter. A lot has been going on around the City since we last had comments in the Newsletter. By the time you get this, the City will have completed its first every Clean Sweep throughout the month of April. A big thanks to all that participated and Mrs. Rakestraw for organizing. Our Parks have been very busy with baseball, softball and soccer. Speaking of soccer, how about those lights! I would also like to thank the organizers for the “Run for Mike” event that was held at Veterans Park. Construction on the City Administration building is progressing nicely. The City has entered into a partnership with the ACSBOE to utilize the second floor of the building as their office. We hope to both be in the building by the end of the Summer. The ACSBOE is extremely busy preparing for the first year of operation. I encourage you to get involved, attend meetings, share your insights or opinions and most importantly, I encourage you to shop Alabaster first!

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COUNCIL COMMENTS

Sophie Martin, Ward 1

It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to the Alabaster Connection, the City of Alabaster’s new official newsletter. We hope you find this to be a helpful information resource for what is going on in our community and thank you to Me2Graphics for their partnership in getting our new publication launched. For your convenience, each issue will also be available online at the city’s website www.cityofalabaster.com. Here are a few quick updates on Ward 1: Progress continues as several abandoned structures along Simmsville Road were demolished or are upon completion of restoration. The Abatement Board also approved several more structures for demolition which will be on the city council’s agenda in the very near future. It is recognized there are some severe aesthetic issues with several streets in Weatherly, some of which developed quickly. Repairs were attempted but due to the severity of the problem, other avenues will have to be taken. Please feel free to contact me at martin@cityofalabaster.com if you have any questions, comments, or story ideas for the Alabaster Connection. Blessings, Sophie

Stacy Rakestraw, Ward 3

I have enjoyed meeting many of you in Ward 3 and being able to help with issues you have concerns about. All citizens can benefit from using “Report a Concern” at the www.cityofalabaster.com – it is a great tool to get your concern sent directly to the proper city department. Residents are always welcome to work sessions, committee meetings and pre-meetings. You can stay informed by hearing it all in person. Meetings are also posted on the above web site and at city hall at least seven days prior. On a financial note, our city has taken the opportunity of lower interest rates and refinancing old bonds – not extending the length of years, but rather saving incredible amounts of money. The first “Alabaster Clean Sweep” was a great success. Over 165 volunteers participated and over a 100 bags of litter were picked up in different areas of the city. Thanks to all of the volunteers, public works, parks departments, as well as, Alabaster Police for their help in our effort to clean up, clean out and haul off!

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Bob Hicks, Ward 2

Things are moving into high gear as far as the Alabaster City Schools are concerned. Vendors for servicing buses, handling telecommunication needs, contacting and arranging for substitute teachers, and other necessary functions are already in place. The central office staff has grown to a point that all bases will be covered without creating a top-heavy central office staff. I would like to commend and sincerely thank the members of the school board and interim superintendent, Dr. Hammonds, for an outstanding job of laying the groundwork of what looks to be a solid beginning. I would also like to thank the council education committee for due diligence in assembling an all-star team for our school board. I have been and will always be excited about this project, and am very confident our students will be the ones to reap the benefits for decades to come. It is ALWAYS a great day to be a Warrior!!! Progress continues on the new admin building next to the Senior Center. The exciting news is that the Alabaster City School Board will be our tenant for a while. This helps both sides, with the school board having a modern, technologically-advanced office from which to operate, and the city will have help paying for it via school board rent. This is hopefully the first of many situations where the school board and the city will engage in mutually beneficial arrangements that benefit every resident of Alabaster. Finally, the clock is ticking to CityFest 2013. Every year I look forward to this opportunity for the city to say to all our residents, “It has been our pleasure to serve you, and we would like to have a party in your honor the first Saturday in June.” Let’s have a great, safe time. Grace and peace, Bob

Rick Walters, Ward 3

Although it took a little longer than expected, I think you will agree the new newsletter format was worth the wait. As our city grows, it is important that our city services and the way we communicate keep up with society. Our new City Administration building will help us keep up with today’s de-

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mand for information and services by uniting our resources and improving communication with the latest technologies. Of course these tools are only as useful as those who use them, so it is just as important that we invest in our city employees. They are the unsung heroes that make city government work. Case in point – the Alabaster Water Board has over 1,000 work days with no time lost due to accidents. They were recently awarded by our insurance agency with their highest award for five continuous years of exceeding industry safety standards. Please join me in thanking all our employees and as always - Keep in Touch!

Russell Bedsole, Ward 5

Welcome to your new official city newsletter. I’m excited to begin this journey with Me2graphics and encourage you to support the many advertisers found within these pages. Once I met owner Luke Camara and heard his vision for our official newsletter, I could tell this has potential to be something special. Thanks to the members of the Public Relations Committee for working hard to make this a reality. I must be honest with you all. I take my responsibility as a steward of your tax dollars very seriously. As we prepared to vote to reinstate the city newsletter, I labored over my decision if this was the best use of tax dollars. My reservations were in no way related to Me2graphics, but were solely based

on my feelings of fiscal responsibility to each of you. Here’s your chance Alabaster to tell me how you feel. I would like you to send me an email and let me know if having a city newsletter sent to your home is something you believe is worthy of spending tax dollars on. I can be contacted at bedsole@ cityofalabaster.com or follow me on twitter, @RussellBedsole.

Tommy Ryals, Ward 7

I wanted to mention new housing growth again. For 2012, the city permitted 59 new homes to be built. Not impressive but it’s equal to permits issued for 2010 and 2011 combined. 2013 is on track to exceed 2012. It’s a small indicator that the housing market is slowly coming back. If you are new to Alabaster, you may not realize that in the 1990’s, the city issued as many as 700-800 new home permits a year. At that rate, you outgrow the city’s infrastructure and ability to provide city services. Around 2000, we consciously tried to slow it down to a more manageable 200-300 a year. This is growth attractive to prospective businesses locating here, yet not so fast that the city can’t keep up. We did this by increasing the minimum size home that can be built in Alabaster and decreasing the density allowed in any development. With a good growth plan combined with a top notch city school district, we can all expect VERY competitive property values in Alabaster. Just sayin’.

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HAPPENINGS

or the 11th year in a row, Alabaster will rock the first Saturday in June. Alabaster CityFest is scheduled to kick off on June 1st with gates opening at 9 a.m. This year’s event features country music sensation Josh Turner and Ed K, former front man for Live. Josh Turner hit the airwaves with his debut album, “Long Black Train.” His numerous hits include: “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” and “All Over Me.” Turner released his fifth studio album, Punching Bag on June 12, 2012 which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. The debut single, “Time is Love” was No. 1 on the Best of 2012 Billboard Country Chart. Opening for Turner is Ed Kowalczyk, legendary lead singer and songwriter of the multi-platinum rock band Live. With over 20 million albums sold worldwide, Kowalczyk led Live to become one of the most successful and enduring alternative rock bands of the last twenty years. Fans are familiar with hits such as “I Alone,” “Lightning Crashes” and “Heaven.” The other featured main stage acts include Michael Warren, After Two Glasses, Take 7, Atticus Avenue, and Coyote Jack Band. This year’s event also includes an expanded KidsFest area, over a

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Birmingham area native Michael Warren will play on the Main Stage


Alabaster CityFest 2013 JUNE 1, 2013 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS MAIN STAGE 9 p.m. 7 p.m. 6 p.m. 5 p.m. 4 p.m. 3:15 p.m. 2:30 p.m.

Josh Turner Ed K Formerly Of LIVE Michael Warren After Two Glasses Take 7 Atticus Avenue Coyote Jack Band

DAY STAGE 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 11 a.m. 12 p.m. 2 p.m. 1 p.m.

Divine Destiny Sanchez Tanniehill Terry Padgett as Elvis Terry Padgett as Elvis Crossroads Junction The Final Fight

KIDSFEST STAGE dozen different musical acts, Cruise-in Car Show and a large selection of vendors offering arts and crafts, merchandise, food and fun for the whole family. KidsFest is sponsored by Vic Smith, CPA and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, who is also hosting kids health and wellness activities throughout the day. This year’s event features Jim Aycock, a well known and beloved children’s singer and songwriter, on the KidsFest stage. The Flying K-9’s Dog Show is back again wowing the audience with their tricks and stunts. A big draw for the little ones will again be the fifteen inflatables and the free arts and crafts under the tent. Alabaster police officers will be on hand to keep the area safe for children in the enclosed KidsFest area, providing peace of mind for parents. The Alabaster Arts Council, the 501c3 responsible for CityFest, is also proud to announce that Regions Bank is again the title sponsor for Alabaster CityFest. It is because of sponsors like Regions that Alabaster CityFest is a free event. “Regions is proud to be the title sponsor for Alabaster CityFest once again this year. CityFest is one of the premiere family events in the state of Alabama and is well-attended by many of our clients and associates. This is just one of the many ways that Regions gives back to our communities,” said Matt Gore with Regions Bank.

11 a.m. 12 p.m. 3 p.m. 2 p.m. 1 p.m.

Jim Aycock Jim Aycock Jim Aycock Jim Aycock Jim Aycock

KIDSFEST ACTIVITES (All Day)

Hands-on arts & crafts Lowe’s Build-it workshop Birmingham School of Music Drum Circle Pony Rides ($) Bungee Jump ($)

OPEN FIELD (by KidsFest area)

10:30 a.m. The Flying K-9s dog show 1:30 p.m. The Flying K-9s dog show

CRUISE-IN CAR SHOW 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

VENDORS

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or later)

www.alabastercityfest.com cityofalabaster.com 7


HAPPENINGS

“We could not do this without Regions Bank, Ernest McCarty and all of our wonderful sponsors. Their support is invaluable and they step up every year to make this a community event. This year is an exceptional one because we are having new businesses like Crossfit Sky Soldiers stepping up to be a part of CityFest. It is rare to have an event this size that is free to the public. It just proves how important all these sponsors are to our city and to this event,” says Adam Moseley, Alabaster Arts Council President. Additional support is provided by the City of Alabaster through a yearly contribution and in kind services. Such services as Police, Fire, and EMT protection allow for a safe and secure environment. The Parks and Recreation staff will be on hand as well providing sanitation and grounds help as well. All of these partners come together to create another successful Alabaster CityFest. For more information go www.alabastercityfest.com.

Home Stage Glory

Brad Kuehner does not look like a typical rocker. He has a wife and a family. A buzz cut. A day job teaching music to preschoolers at the local day care center. Yet for the third year in a row he and his band mates of Atticus Avenue, a fundamental southern rock band, will play for their home crowd at CityFest 2013. “CityFest is an incredible opportunity for us to showcase ourselves in front of an enormous crowd, with killer lights and sound, sharing an amazing stage with world famous artists,” he shared. Atticus Avenue, a reference to the father in To Kill A Mockingbird, formed in June of 2010. Less than a year later they were performing for their first time at CityFest. “Using persistent emails and phone calls, way beyond the point of annoying I’m sure, I was able to convince the guys in charge of booking the acts to include us and we secured a spot on the Day Stage, playing at 10 a.m.,” he said. Not being familiar with CityFest, the group was shocked to find that even a 10 a.m. gig was going to be huge for them. “As soon as we arrived to load in, the true nature of the beast was revealed. We were absolutely astounded at how many people were already there when we arrived around 8:30 a.m.! By the time we finished our set, we had an amazing turn-out, great crowd response, and one heck of a good time! All before lunch! It was our first major performance and one of the first times we got to play not as “live music”, but as Atticus Avenue,” exclaimed Kuehner. With this amazing experience fresh in their minds, they laid plans for next year’s CityFest. “As soon as the new year rolled in for 2012,” he said, “we were reaching

Alabaster’s own Atticus Avenue will be playing on the Main Stage at Alabaster CityFest in May.

out and basically begging to be involved again. They wound up booking us on the Day Stage at 1 p.m. and we were thrilled. To be a little later in the day and surrounded by similar acts, we knew it would be a great experience for us, and of course, it was!” Repeating the theme of previous years, the guys thought they would try once again to play their hometown festival. “When it came time for the email and phone call assault this year, we were fairly certain that they wouldn’t have us back for the third consecutive year,” said Kuehner. To the bands amazement they got booked again­­—an event that is uncom-

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mon for most act to achieve. Their amazement did not end with just the booking, but extended to their placement as well. “When we received the response from the CityFest crew, we found out that not only did they want us back, but they put us on the main stage,” Kuehner exclaimed. For Kuehner and the rest of Atticus Avenue, playing CityFest means more than just a fun evening. It brings a greater sense of purpose and awareness. “Playing CityFest makes us feel validated in a way. They wouldn’t let some sorry nopracticin’, no-good garage band up there, right? CityFest for us is a chance to share our passion, music and message with the people we grew up with and around,” he states. For this hometown band it also means that those who might not ever hear their music get a chance to do so in a great family atmosphere. “For a band to stay busy and continue to play and perform around here, they must play in places that want live music. Generally speaking, these places are usually bars and the shows are usually 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Most of our friends and family have no interest in the bar scene,” he shares. CityFest provides a way for these lost friends and family to experience one of their shows. “To be able to play for them is great. To be able to play for them at CityFest is truly amazing,” he said. Atticus Avenue’s focus after CityFest is to finish up their first record. “We are furiously working on our material for our debut album, set to be recorded this fall and released by the end of the year if all goes as planned,” he said. To find out more about Atticus Avenue visit www.AtticusAvenue.com

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In other news

Small Business Forums

“I was told that any campaign promises I make, I need to keep,” said Mayor Handlon. One promise she made was to host quarterly small business forums. “I heard during the campaign that the small businesses did not get included in the decisions or informed until after the fact. I wanted to make sure that they were included,” she said. On May 10th at 9 a.m. at the city’s annex building she will host her second small business forum. It is open to all small businesses in the city. The one-hour format is created to introduce, include and inform. “I want the business decision makers to meet our department heads. So I have a different department head present an overview of their department and how they are here to serve the businesses,” she said. Mayor Handlon has also set aside time during the forum to include feedback from the audience. She also wants to make sure that the small business community is informed about upcoming changes or events so they can take the appropriate action proactively instead of reactively. She went on to share why it is so important for her and all of the community to support these locally owned businesses. “Our small businesses provide the charm, that personal touch to our community,” she said, adding, “Yes, you deserve to feel valued.” For more information visit www.cityofalabaster.com or call city hall 205-664-6800.


SCHOOL NEWS Update on Alabaster City Schools On October 17, 2011 the Alabaster City Council voted to form a city school district apart from the Shelby County School District. They also voted to raise the city’s sales tax by one cent effective December 1, 2013. The Alabaster City School District anticipates beginning its operations as a new school district July 1, 2013. Alabaster’s schools are currently a part of the Shelby County School District and they continue to operate under Shelby County’s policies and procedures. The Alabaster City Board of Education approved a resolution during their April 8, 2013 board meeting that will allow children of non-resident District employees to attend Alabaster City Schools. Student attendance zones will remain the same for the 2013-14 school year. Alabaster Board of Education members include: Ty Quarles (President), Linda Church, John Myrick, and Adam Moseley. The central office staff is taking shape under the leadership of Interim Superintendent Dr. Phil Hammonds. The following central office positions are in place: Sarita Tapscott - Chief School Financial Officer, Cena Davis - Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction, Keri 10 cityofalabaster.com

Johnson - Coordinator of Exceptional Education, Heather McDermott - Child Nutrition Program Specialist, Maxine Burns and Virginia Aycox – Central Office Secretaries. Beth Emerson – Payroll Accountant and Michael Kortman – Accounts Payable Accountant will begin work May 1st. A Coordinator of Operations, Coordinator of Federal Programs, and an Administrator of Technology and Information Systems soon should be filled. The search for a superintendent is in progress. The Alabaster City Board of Education is committed to a smooth transition for all schools, personnel, and students. The first year will focus on setting a vision and goals, identifying needs and resources, and developing a plan to be the VERY BEST educational system for our students! Teamwork, partnerships, collaboration, and innovation will help shape our foundation. We invite all stakeholders to join with us on this journey to excellence! The Alabaster City Board of Education will occupy the second floor of the new city hall upon completion of the building (August 2013). Our temporary location is 6919 Hwy 119 S, Alabaster, Al 35007, and phone number is (205) 624-3105. Please check our website for job postings and current information: www.alabasterschools.org .


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CALENDAR

COMMUNITY

MAY 1 Municipal Court, 9 a.m. & 2 p.m. (A) 6 City Council Meeting, 7 p.m. (A) 7 Public Safety Committee, 6 p.m. (A) 8 Municipal Court, 9 a.m. & 2 p.m. (A) 8 Finance Committee, 5:30 p.m. (CSB) 13 Alabaster City BOE Meeting, 6-8 p.m. (SC) 13 Water Board, 7 p.m. (A) 14 Housing & Abatement Board, 5 p.m. (A) 20 City Council Meeting, 7 p.m. (A) 21 Driving School, 7 p.m. (A) 22 Municipal Court, 9 a.m. & 2 p.m. (A) 27 All City Offices and Senior Center will be closed in observance of Memorial Day KEY: (A)=Annex; (SC)=Senior Center; (CSB)=City Services Building;

LIBRARY

The Albert L. Scott Library is located at 100 9th Street N.W., Alabaster. Hours of operation are Mon,, Tues. and Thurs. 9 a.m.-7:50 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.5:50 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-5:50 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4:50 p.m. and Sun. 1-4:50 p.m. If you would like more information concerning programs, please contact the Library at 664-6822.

SPECIAL EVENTS

BOOKS-A-MILLION BOOK FAIR FUNDRAISER Monday, May 6, 2013 As you shop for that graduate, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days, or a wedding, you can also give a gift to the Albert L. Scott Library. Books-A-Million is hosting a Book Fair to benefit the Friends of the Library. Pick up a voucher at the door that will direct 10 % of your purchase price to the Friends. SPRING BOOK SALE May 17-19, 2013 The Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library is hosting this event. There will be 1000’s of books - something for all interests and all ages. The bargain pricing is $1.00 for hardbacks and $.50 for paperbacks. There will be no limit – buy all you want. We’ll help you carry them to your car! The sales schedule is as follows: Friday, May 17 from 5-7 p.m. - Preview sale for members. You can join at the door for as little as $10. Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Public sale

Sunday, May 19 from 1-3 p.m. - Fill-A-Bag hours We’ll give you a bag to fill. For only $5 you get everything you can pack into it. Funds from the sale benefit special library programs, such as childrens’ and adults’ activities and Storyline.

ADULT EVENTS

AMERICAN HISTORY MADE SIMPLE Monday, May 6, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.. This is the last class in our 4-week series that covers the highlights of American History in a way that makes sense! Our informal class time will connect the important points without getting lost in the details. This class is perfect for interested adults who wish they had not missed it the first time around. MOBILE DEVICE WORKSHOP Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 6-7:30 p.m. Computers, Tablets, and Smartphones: Your Questions Answered! – Join us as Bob Fitzgerald of Personal Computer Consulting in Alabaster offers a FREE workshop where experienced techs will answer your questions about your mobile electronic devices. Troubleshooting, how-to, and consulting provided. Program takes place in the meeting room. LIBRARY BOOK GROUP Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7 p.m. Join us in our discussion of The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Living with a foster family in Germany during World War II, a young girl struggles to survive her day-to-day trials through stealing anything she can get her hands on, but when she discovers the beauty of literature, she realizes that she has been blessed with a gift that must be shared with others, including the Jewish man hiding in the basement. Program takes place in the meeting room. LIBRARY CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY Monday, May 27, 2013 LIBRARY BOARD MEETING Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 6 p.m. ADULT COMPUTER CLASSES To sign up, stop by or call 664-6822. Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 10 a.m. - Microsoft Word I Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10 a.m. - Microsoft Word II POSITIVE MATURTY JOB WORKSHOPS Join us as A.W.A.R.E. volunteer Fabray Turner guides job seekers 50 and over through the process of returning to the workplace. Orientation Workshop Wednesday, May 1, 2013. 10:15 a.m.

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Resume Workshop Wednesday, May 8, 2013. 10:15 a.m. Interviewing Skills Workshop Wednesday, May 15, 2013. 10:15 a.m. Networking Workshop Wednesday, May 22, 2013. 12:00 p.m. Social Media Workshop Wednesday, May 29, 2013. 12:00 p.m.

YOUTH EVENTS SPECIAL STAR WARS PROGRAM SET TO BLAST OFF! Saturday, May 4, 2013 starting at 10:15 a.m. There will be something for Star War fans of all ages during the day long event May the Fourth be with You! The day kicks off with Star Wars Story Time from 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Children ages 3 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to participate in intergalactic fun, action, and adventure! There will be stories, songs, a snack, and more. The day continues with Reading Jedi Read-a-thon for kids ages 8 years old through teenagers. From 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. they are invited to read books in the library. Kids who read quietly the whole time get a prize. Suggested book genres are Star Wars, science, science fiction, and scientists’ biographies. There will be major fun in the afternoon when the main event launches in the meeting room. Star Wars Wonders will be from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for families with kids 6 years old and older. All kids must be with an adult. Activities will include Start Wars Games, Lego Station and Creation Station. Light refreshments will be enjoyed in the Cantina There will also be a Star Wars Show & Tell. Guests can show off their Star Wars items. If a table is needed for display of several items please call or come by the library to speak with the youth services librarian in advance. Sign up is suggested, but not required and fans are encouraged to wear a costume if they like. Guests may receive a Star Wars mask while supplies last if they do not have a costume. TUNES & TALES Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. For all ages. In the meeting room.

MISS JENNIE’S STORY TIKE THEMES:

May Flowers Mother’s Day Let’s Go Camping! Fun Stories Surprise! LEGO LEAGUE Tuesday, May 7th from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Kids of all ages can play with Legos of all sizes in the meeting room. Children 6 years old and younger must be with an adult. ALABASTER BOOK BLASTERS Tuesday, May 14th at 6:00 p.m. This, our last session, is called “Keats’ Cat” we’ll read and discuss the book Hi Cat, make a fun craft, and enjoy a cool treat! Kids 6 years old to 10 years old can sign up. Children 6 years old and younger must be with an adult. Meets in the meeting room. GEAR UP FOR THE SUMMER CHALLENGE This month as school ends, children of all ages can gear up for the Summer Challenge that kicks off at the library in early June. This is when kids read our library books to earn prizes! For kids from birth to 10 years old the kickoff will be on Monday, June 3rd. That day will feature two shows by comic magician Russell Davis, one at 10:30 a.m. and another at 3:30 p.m. Parents may sign up their children for The Challenge before or after either show and receive a large goody bag for each child. The Young Adults (YAs), tweens and teens 11 to 18 years old, will have a separate kickoff on Tuesday, June 4th from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that will include a craft and dessert. The Summer Challenge will include lots of entertaining and educational programs, prizes, and surprises. Look for details in the June edition of the Alabaster City Newsletter and on the library’s website. The 2013 Summer Reading Program is supported in whole or in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Alabama Public Library Service.

SENIOR CENTER

TODDLER TALES Fridays 10:30 a.m. In the meeting room

The Alabaster Senior Center is located at 1097 7th Street S.W., Alabaster. If you would like more information concerning senior programs, please contact Alabaster Senior Center at 663-1307 or awalters@ cityofalabaster.com.

SUMMER BREAK STORY TIME Wednesday, May 22nd and Wednesday, May 29th at 10:15 a.m. We’ll have additional story times for all ages in the meeting room on these dates.

SLOSS FURNACE TOUR AND LUNCH Friday, May 3, 2013 We will tour the Birmingham Sloss Furnace and eat lunch at Chow Town in Hoover. Bring $10-$12 for lunch. Space is limited and $5 reserves your spot ($1 to reserve your spot and $4 for the tour). cityofalabaster.com 13


CALENDAR

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS CONTINUED... SHELBY COUNTY ANNUAL SENIOR PICNIC Thursday, May 16 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Don’t miss this event at Oak Mountain State Park: lunch, vendors, music, door prizes and much more. Please call the Center no later than May 1 to make your reservations. SHOP TILL YOU DROP CRAFT SHOW Tuesday, May 28 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Come shop with us at the Center. Our seniors are very talented and want to share their art, crafts and much more. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to purchase a few great things made with a lot of love. ACRYLIC PAINTING WORKSHOP Tuesday, May 14 from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Beginner and experienced painters are welcome. Class will focus on fundamentals of composition, color basics and a variety of methods of applying acrylic paint. Cost is $20 per person, and supplies are included. Space is limited. LINE DANCING Every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Intermediate class begins at 9:30 a.m. and beginner class at 10:30 a.m. Encouraged donation of $2 per class. WII BOWLING Every Tuesday at 12 p.m. All levels are welcome – just come and have some fun. BASIC KNITTING Every Thursday at 10 a.m. Join us for instruction in the basics of knitting. No charge but you must provide your own supplies. Space is limited. FREE BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS Tuesday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m. Provided by Comfort Care Hospice. CROCHET CLASS Every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Learn how to crochet; or, if you are experienced, stop by and fellowship with friends. GARDENING WITH BETTY Every 3rd Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per class and includes all supplies. Registration required.

PRESERVING FAMILY MEMORIES THROUGH SCRAPBOOKING Monday, May 13 from 12 pm - 3 pm. Ever wonder what to do with all of those shoeboxes full of pictures and “stuff ” you saved? Join us for a scrapbooking crop and learn how to turn those treasured memories into beautiful scrapbooks that tell your family’s story. In each class, you will learn a new technique to help you create beautiful family albums. Bring $5 cash to each class. You will need to bring your own pictures and supplies. Some supplies will be available to purchase. Class taught by taught by C.D. McKinnon. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS ALL THE OTHER ACTIVITIES AT THE SENIOR CENTER... Men’s Social Group, 1st Monday of each month 9 a.m. Timeless Treasures (singing),–Monday, 10 a.m. Wii Bowling, Tuesdays, 12 p.m. Rook, Wednesdays, 9 a.m. Rummikub, Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. Zumba Gold (exercise), Wednesdays, 1 p.m. Beginner/Inter. Line Dancing, Thursdays, 9:30 a m. Beginner Line Dancing, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. Bridge, Thursday, 12-3 p.m. Tempo exercise, Fridays, 10 a.m. Zumba Gold Toning, Fridays 1-2 p.m.

THANK YOU! Special thanks to the Weatherly Garden Club for their donation to continue the growth of our gardening program here at the Senior Center. WISH LIST Looking for an Acrylic Instructor. Please call Alicia at 6631307 or awalters@cityofalabaster.com if you are interested.

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PARKS AND REC

The Parks and Recreation Office is located inside the Depot at 100 Depot Street, Alabaster. Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you would like more information, call 205-664-6840 or visit www.alabasterparks.org. TRASH TO TREASURES EXTRAVAGANZA Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Extravaganza will be held at Buck Creek Park. You can register in person at the Depot between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., weekdays only. Registration, both on-line and in person, will end on May 15 at 5 p.m. As soon as all 50 booths are reserved, registration will close out even if it’s prior to May 15. The registration fee is $10 which can be paid with cash, debit, Visa, or MasterCard. No checks accepted. The fee includes a 20x20 booth. You must provide your own table, chairs and canopy. Rain-out Date is May 25 (same time, same location). FOOTBALL & CHEER REGISTRATION May 20, 2013 at 8 a.m. through June 8, 2013 at 2 p.m. Registration will be available on-line or in person at the Depot between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., weekdays only. There will be one Saturday registration on June 8 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Depot. Cost will be $160.00 (plus 10% for non-residents). Cash, Visa, MasterCard accepted. NO Checks! ADULT SOFTBALL SEASON Beginning May 2, 2013 The 2013 season consist of 44 teams in four different leagues (Men’s Church, Coed Church, Men’s Open Rec, and Coed Open Rec). Games will be played on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights at Buck Creek Park. ACCC FAST PITCH SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT May 3, 2013 at 10 a.m. through May 5, 2013 The Alabama Community College Conference Fast Pitch Softball Tournament will be held at Veterans Park. Alabaster will be hosting this event for the eighth year in a row. We are expecting large crowds so don’t miss out on what’s sure to be an exciting event. Tickets are $10 per day or you may purchase a tournament pass for $15. Children ages 6 and under will be admitted free as well as any youth Baseball or Softball player wearing their jersey. PARKS AND RECREATION OFFICE CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY May 27, 2013

PAVILIONS FOR RENT

Several of our City Parks offer pavilions for rental use. With warm weather upon us, everyone is ready to visit the local parks for picnics, family reunions and birthday parties. The best way to make sure your event happens at the location of your choice is to contact Parks & Recreation before our books are filled with reservations. Pavilions are available for use by permit only. There is a $40 rental fee and an additional refundable $40 deposit which must be paid before your reservation is complete.

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It is the job of these components to do two primary things: 1. 2.

Cool the engine due to the heat it produces from combustion This keeps the engine at a constant temperature for maximum fuel economy and optimum engine wear.

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Q: How do I know when it is time for me to replace my timing belt? A: You should look in your owner’s manual if applicable. If not, call local dealership, or as a rule of thumb, it needs replacing every 75,000 to 100,000 miles depending on your make and model.

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AROUND TOWN Alabaster YMCA Celebrates Expansion The Alabaster YMCA and the DAY Program recently celebrated the grand opening of the new west wing to the existing facility with a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. Lane Vines, YMCA of Birmingham District II Vice President, started off by remembering the history behind the new facility. “Seven years ago, land was purchased with the hope one day it would become the Alabaster YMCA and it has,” he shared. With the new addition, the Alabaster YMCA adds a new entrance, meeting rooms, a gym, additional locker rooms, an indoor whirlpool and an outdoor swimming pool that has access for those in wheelchairs. On the second floor they added space to house the DAY Program, whose mission is to provide educational and clinical services to at-risk youth in Shelby County, Alabama. Neil Bailey, a board member of both the YMCA and the DAY Program, shared his joy in seeing this new

“Every community needs a Y. They are in the preventing business.” ~ Neil Bailey

18 cityofalabaster.com

addition open. “I feel like a father whose wife just gave birth to twins,” he shared to laughter. He added, “Every community needs a Y. They are in the preventing business. The DAY Program,” he continues, “is in the remediation business.” The YMCA offers after school programs, summer programs and support for families as they grow together. The DAY Program serves those who need that extra help to overcome adversity. The DAY Program has a 15-1 student to teacher ratio and a 15-1 student to counselor ratio. They are open to all students of Shelby County at no charge to the student or the family. Kathy Miller, Executive Director of the DAY Program, is excited about the impact the new facility will have on the program. “It is clear that this facility will help us make a difference in the students’ lives,” she said. The previous facility they used limited the number of students they could accept; with the new space they can now serve up to 100 students each year. The building was developed and funded through a partnership of the YMCA, Shelby County, The DAY Program, and various other groups and individuals. Alex Dudchock, Shelby County Manager, captured the sentiments of all those who shared during the ceremony with his closing remarks. “It is about how people can come together, still work together, for a common goal,” he shared. For more information visit www.thedayprogram.com and www.ymcabham.org


Alabaster Cleans Up During April

When Councilwoman Stacy Rakestraw joined the city council for her first full term, she was asked to provide the leadership for the Alabaster Clean Sweep program. “The concept of Alabaster Clean Sweep had been talked about for a year. When I joined the council I got handed the baton,” she said. With the mandate to help promote community pride, she got to work. The concept to make a whole month of the program came about when Girls Scouts Troop 146, 7th graders at Thompson Middle School, requested help promoting their e-cycling event set for April 20th. Building off of their event, the idea was born to host service days every Saturday during the month of April and to encourage people and groups to “Clean Up, Clean-Out and Haul-Off ” With a plan in place, Rakestraw set about promoting the event. Allied Wasted, the waste management provider for Alabaster, got involved by donating trash bags and funds for marketing material, including 4,000 magnets. Rakestraw even found a captive and willing audience to help spread the news. “One of the best ways to reach the community,” said Rakestraw, “is through the students.” During April she visited and passed out the 4,000 magnets to the students at the local schools. During her talks with the students she also took the time to promote community pride. She especially tried to encour-

Girl Scout Troop 146 members Isabel Klinner, Emilee House and Katharine Mandy

age them to do their part. “Even if you are not the one who littered, just pick it up. If we all just take the time to pick up even a small amount, it would just get done,” she told the student assembly. Once word got out about the event, civic groups started to sign up. “We had churches, schools, Girl and Boy Scouts troops, garden clubs and city departments all sign up to serve,” said Rakestraw. She added, “We had so many people excited about the participating. It was amazing.” She especially thought the support of the Public Works, Parks and Rec, Fire and Police department were just invaluable to the success of the campaign. During the month-long program, the City of Alabaster had special hours for the city’s trash facility. The City listed organi-

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AROUND TOWN

zations on their website that would haul away working or non-working vehicles, boats or RV’s at no charge with the proceeds going to charity. “We plan to have that information available year-round on the City’s website for those who are still interested in using their services,” said Rakestraw. With the success of the program, Rakestraw is excited about keeping the momentum going. “We are working on reorganizing the Beautification Board,” she said. “If anyone is interested in serving on the new board they can email me directly.” Some of the Participating Groups were: Girls Scouts Navajo Hills Garden Club Keller Williams & TIS Students THS Basketball THS Pride Day THS Green Club Green Evangel Church Thompson 6th Grade Center First Baptist Church Alabaster THS Wrestling Team Kingwood Beta Club (HS & Jr.) FUMC

yards of fresh wood chips, a new sandbox and the installation of a 100 foot split rail fence. The project involved more than 470 hours of work by 30 volunteers, including scouts, friends, and adult helpers. Trey worked over 123 hours on the project. Trey earned the rank of Eagle Scout on December 3, 2012, during the 100 year anniversary of Eagle Scouts, earning him the Centennial Eagle Scout badge.

Communal Gardening Comes to Alabaster

by Alabaster Senior Anderson Underwood For thousands of years, mankind has relied on agriculture to sustain itself. Even with the modern availability of produce at grocery stores and supermarkets, many people still choose to grow their own food. With the rising demand for organic foods, which can be found at popular specialty stores like Whole Foods and Earth Fare, many people are looking for cost-effective ways to grow their own “organic” vegetable garden. In a variety of ways, the idea of ‘social gardening’ from applications like “Farmville” on Facebook has translated itself into real life, resulting in community gardening.

What is community gardening?

Eagle Scout Award

William Thomas (Trey) Hammett III, 14, of Alabaster has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Trey is a freshman at Thompson High School and the son of Tom and Lisa Hammett. Trey has been a member of Troop 220 at Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster since February 2009. He began his scouting adventure as a Wolf Scout in 2005 at age 7. As a scout, Trey has earned 23 merit badges and has held several leadership positions, including Den Chief, Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and was recently elected Senior Patrol Leader. He completed National Youth Leadership Training last summer. He is a member of the Order of the Arrow and is scheduled to complete his brotherhood later this year. For his Eagle Scout project, Trey restored the playground at Brierfield Historic Ironworks Park in Bibb County. The restoration included play equipment painting, timber removal and replacement, 80 cubic 20 cityofalabaster.com

A communal garden is a space of land divided into separate plots that can range anywhere from five-by-five feet to fifty-

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by-fifty feet. Each plot is rented out to different patrons for a specified length of time, during which they are usually free to plant whatever they choose. Every garden has different rules, but common among them is a familial atmosphere—everyone is there for the same purpose, driven by the same goal. The concept of communal gardening, or homesteading, is not a new one. Spanish, Taiwanese, and Malian cultures are only a few of many whose cultural heritage includes a plot of land tended by more than one person. In Australia, families have worked together to grow their own food since the 1970s. This trend has made its way to America, springing up primarily in heaving populated urban areas. New York City alone is home to more than six hundred communal gardens. These joint food-growing ventures are not limited to busy cities in the Northeast, however. Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Michigan, Florida, and the Carolinas are all hotspots for community gardens, and the trend is growing. The American Community Gardening Association has more than eighteen thousand listings of registered gardens in the US and Canada, including every continental state but Wyoming. This trend has made its way to Alabaster, with the Alabaster Community Garden opening just this

April in Limestone Park on Highway 31. The Alabaster garden has thirty-two plots, each twenty-by-twenty feet, but according to project manager Robert Webb, only twelve are still

Even with the modern availability of produce at grocery stores and supermarkets, many people still choose to grow their own food.

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available to rent. $100 will rent a plot for a year, including water utilities. Patrons have liberty to grow whatever they wish. Many consider this an opportunity to grow in their knowledge of gardening. Ande Underwood, a new member of the Alabaster gardening community, said, “I’m looking forward to learning from other, more experienced gardeners.” Traditionally, community gardens are places for the inexperienced and experienced to share a sort of common ground. Some are there to learn, some are there to teach, but everyone is there to experience community. Another common benefit is that members can recruit others’ assistance in cases where they can’t be there to tend their own plot. “It’s nice,” Mr. Underwood said, “knowing that if I have to leave town, I’ll have neighbors who can help me out—watering my plants, and such. And of course, I’ll do the same for them.” Community gardens also provide families an avenue to work together and to meet others in the area. In an era where families are constantly pulled in so many different directions, these gardens can provide a learning and mentoring opportunity for the whole family to enjoy. If you want to get in on the trend, you can call Robert Webb at (205) 612-0839 or email him at AlabasterCommunityGarden@gmail.com to reserve a plot. For those interested, you can also connect with the Alabaster gardening community on Facebook by liking the Alabaster Community Garden’s page and opting to receive their updates. cityofalabaster.com 21


AROUND TOWN

Local Recognition

LEGACY CREDIT UNION RIBBON CUTTING Legacy Credit Union recently celebrated the grand opening of their newest location at the Propst Promenade. On hand for the celebration were the Thompson High School Varsity Cheerleaders, elected officials, Legacy’s CEO and Board Chairman and fellow business owners.

SALON 5 RIBBON CUTTING

Tracy Daniel and the whole crew with Salon 5 are extremely excited to be opening their new business in Alabaster. “We were in Pelham but everything is going on in Alabaster,” she said. She continued, adding, “Everyone at the city have gone out of their way to help us. All of their work allowed us to open on time, so that our clients did not have to miss a beat.”

EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER

DONATE LIFE MONTH PROCLAMATION

Jan Jones, who received a double-organ transplant, received the proclamation for Donate Life month. She received a kidney and pancreas resulting in her healing from diabetes, disease she suffered since she was a child.

ROBERT SMELCER SWORN IN

Chief Golden and Mayor Handlon were on hand to congratulate Robert Smelcer on his recent swearing in as a firefighter with the Alabaster Fire Department. Also present were Robert’s wife Anai and mother Donna Smelcer.

22 cityofalabaster.com

This quarter’s recipient is Larry Marasckin. Larry is a member of the Collection’s Team. He is extremely motivated and enjoys his job immensely. No matter the hour day or night Larry has shown himself to be dependable and trustworthy. Environmental Services is truly blessed to have a team member like Larry who not only has a yes we can attitude, but works hard everyday but encourages the entire Team to do so as well.


Citizen Spotlight

Aiden Brown

Leukemia & Lymphoma Boy of the Year

Aiden Brown is not your average seven year old. He is a supporter, campaigner, poster child and, most of all, survivor of ALL (Acute Lymphoma Leukemia). Aiden’s efforts post-remission include raising money for the Leukemia Society through programs like Pennies for Patients where kids make BIG change by collecting SMALL change. This along with other supporting roles earned Aiden the Leukemia Society’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Boy of the Year award! Aiden is a first grade student at Meadow View Elementary School and received his diagnosis at two years of age. Although he is now in remission, there was a time when medicines, treatments and hospitals were a way of life for the youngster. Aiden’s mom Yoko Brown says, “He had a daily routine of taking chemo orally. Once a month for five days, he took over 60 pills. Once a month he underwent a surgical procedure to inject chemo into his spine, and do a spinal tap to test for cancer.” Now, Aiden enjoys just being involved with everything. He is active in his church youth group, and plays basketball

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and baseball. He even has a hobby – learning about cars! The family is excited and remembers the day they found out about the award. “The day the video ‘Heroes to Me’ debuted on Fox 6… Aiden and other youth cancer survivors starred in the video…Aiden was one of the weather kids with Mickey that day,” Mrs. Brown reminisces. The Boy and the Girl of the Aidan Brown with Sophie Martin Year awards go to local blood cancer survivors who provide inspiration and motivation to candidates during the 10 week fundraising campaign. In 2011, Aiden was one of the poster survivors for the Leukemia Society. His school, Meadow View, along with Liberty Baptist Church and other local businesses sponsored him in the Pennies for Patients effort where he raised $9,000 in three days, the highest amount in his region. Aiden’s parents are Anthony and Yoko Brown and he has a brother, Anthony Barganier, and a sister, Angelique Barganier. wTo learn more about ALL and the Leukemia Society, please visit www.lls.org.

Evangel Church PCA is sponsoring a FREE Soccer Camp for Kids (2nd-10th grade) at Buck Creek Park in Alabaster. Mark Wallace, the Varsity Soccer Team coach at Briarwood Christian School, will serve as the head instructor.

SoCCer CaMP for Kids

on, informati For more 64-0889 llins at 6 o C y n n Be contact r at or registe . hpca.org gelchurc n a v .e w ww limited. Space is

May 28 - 31 8 – 11 a.M. Buck Creek Park

cityofalabaster.com 23 701 Sixth avenue SW., alabaster, alabama 35007


CITY OF ALABASTER 201 First Street North Alabaster, AL 35007 www.cityofalabaster.com

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT 48 ALABASTER, AL

Marty Handlon, Mayor handlon@cityofalabaster.com, 663-7059

City Council

Sophie Martin, Ward 1 358-8742 | martin@cityofalabaster.com Bob Hicks, Ward 2 663-1801 | hicks@cityofalabaster.com Stacy Rakestraw, Ward 3 621-0168 | rakestraw@cityofalabaster.com Rick Walters, Ward 4 281-7394 | walters@cityofalabaster.com

Russell Bedsole, Ward 5 205-663-1886 | bedsole@cityofalabaster.com Scott Brakefield, Ward 6 685-0302 | brakefield@cityofalabaster.com Tommy Ryals, Ward 7 664-1301 | ryals@cityofalabaster.com

POSTAL PATRON

Shaping Tomorrow Today!

T

here is a noticeable difference. Many children say, “I love school!” Still others say, “I love my teacher!” At Evangel Classical Christian School we hear an additional comment which sets us apart, “I love learning!” Our educational model is derived from a passion to glorify God in all that we do; thus, we employ timeless principles that far outpace state and national standards. We invite you to come see the difference for yourself and join our parents in saying, “This is the education I wish I had!”

e l u d e h c s o t l l a C your tour! 205-216-0149

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w w w. e va n g e l c l a s s i c a l . o r g 24 cityofalabaster.com

4 2 3 Th om p s o n Roa d | A l a b a s t e r , A L 3 5 0 0 7 | 2 0 5 - 2 1 6 - 0 1 4 9


Alabaster Connection May 2013